A New Year’s Resolution for Us All

My son recently got a new fulltime job. This was a huge relief to me as he has been doing next to nothing for the prior 5 months. It’s a huge relief to him because he now has cash in his pocket. His new job is a good first real job for a young man that has decided to not go to college. It is also good for him because he’s not sitting around depressed all day because he has nothing to do.

Today is a great day for making resolutions for 2019, if you are into that. My M.O. is to always look for ways to improve myself and to enact little experiments to decide if the change I want to make is a net positive for my professional or personal development. So annual resolutions don’t work for me, but short term experiments do. If those experiments work, I incorporate them into my lifestyle.

Do not believe in anything (simply) because you have heard it ; Do not believe in traditions, because they been handed down for many generations ; Do not believe in anything, because it is spoken and rumored by many ; Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books ; But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

From the 2500 Buddha Jayanti, pg. 39. This has been one of the most meaningful pieces of wisdom I have ever come across. These words drive me, force me to always question why things are the way they are. The journey I’ve had because I took this quote to heart has been an incredible adventure in my understanding of things political, cultural, and religious.

It was with hopeful anticipation that I listened to my son describe an attitude he intended to adopt for his life. There were two key components he described:

  1. Work would not be a chore, but an opportunity to improve himself and to increase his skills.
  2. Treat people with respect before judging them rather than judging them first and basing his respect for them on that initial judgement.

Both principles are beautiful concepts, and, as I commented to him, are things everyone should try to live by, but few, if any, are 100% successful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

As I reflect on that conversation today, these principles are a New Year’s Resolution worthy of pursuing. Happy New Year!